Thunderbird, the open source mail app, is coming to Android. It will be based on Android’s K-9 Mail mail app, which will be renamed and improved to become the official Android mail app for Thunderbird. K-9 Mail will take over the Thunderbird name and brand. First of all, K-9 Mail will first need to match Thunderbird’s feature set and look and feel.
“To do this, we will dedicate financial resources and development time to continually improve K-9 Mail. We will be adding brand new features and improvements,” reads a blog post from the Thunderbird team. As a reminder, K-9 is not a very popular messaging app on Google Play despite having been downloaded 5 million times on the Google Play Store.
The K-9 Mail roadmap currently includes: creating an account setup using Thunderbird’s automatic account setup; improved case management; support for message filters and synchronization between desktop and mobile Thunderbird.
Long term project
“Many Thunderbird users have requested to use Thunderbird on mobile devices, which we are going to provide by helping make K-9 awesome and turning it into Thunderbird on Android. K-9 will complement the Thunderbird interface and improve the messaging experience for users. Our commitment to Thunderbird remains the same, most of our team is focused on making it the best email client in its class, and it will continue to be so.
Thunderbird says that K-9 Mail will be “Thunderbird compliant and we’ll make sure the sync between Thunderbird and K-9/Thunderbird on Android is seamless.” The Thunderbird team also plans to offer Firefox Sync as an option to sync accounts between Thunderbird and K-9 Mail. This is expected to be implemented in the summer of 2023. The project is also exploring Thunderbird features that can be added to the Android app, such as support for calendars, tasks, channels, and chat.
Recall that two years ago, the Mozilla Foundation transferred Thunderbird to its subsidiary MZLA Technologies Corporation. This new organization has allowed the Thunderbird project to chart its own course with new features such as OpenPGP end-to-end encryption and a highly anticipated mobile app. After early preparatory work between Thunderbird Product Manager Ryan Lee Cipes and K-9 Editor-in-Chief Christian Ketterer in 2018, he finally decided in 2022 that the best path forward for K-9 is to simply join Thunderbird rather than Thunderbird creating your own application from scratch. .